On 4 July 2019, the French Data Protection (CNIL) published its Guidelines on Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies (the Guidelines, available in French here). The Guidelines further detailed the nature of the interplay between the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which reinforced expectations towards obtaining consent to data processing operations when such consent is required), and the ePrivacy Directive which more specifically addresses the privacy requirements on cookies and other tracking technologies. Indeed, while the ePrivacy Directive was expected to be updated through an ePrivacy Regulation (latest draft proposal available here), on or before GDPR entered into force, it remains under discussion at the European level to this day, and subject to intense lobbying by all stakeholders.

Further to the publication of the Guidelines, several French professional associations in the online marketing, distance selling and online media activities initiated legal action against the CNIL, before the French Administrative Supreme Court (the Conseil d’État), on the grounds that the CNIL acted above and beyond its authority in adopting the Guidelines, notably by (i) generally prohibiting “cookie walls”, (ii) recognizing a right of data subjects to refuse cookies, (iii) requiring the identification of the data controller for the cookies, (iv) mandating an exhaustive and up-to-date information of the data subjects on the cookies, regardless of their involvement in data processing operations, (v) requiring that the users’ agreement must be expressed by a separate action for each of the distinct purposes brought to their knowledge with a view to the storage of information or access to information already stored in their terminal equipment, and (vi) imposing maximum data retention periods for cookies.

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France’s top administrative court has overruled the country’s data authority regarding “cookie walls”, stating that as an agency that only offers guidelines – so-called flexible laws – the authority cannot prohibit their use.

Cookie walls prevent internet users from accessing websites unless they consent to the use of tracking cookies, which often gather data used by advertisers.

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Interview in the Washington Internet Daily Vol. 21, no. 100 dated 22 May 2020 available here.

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Practice head:

Claude-Étienne Armingaud

Key clients

  • Kookai
  • Hyundai Motor Company
  • Nouvel Héritage
  • Nous – Concept Store
  • POC
  • Ravel Technology
  • AR24
  • Cybergun
  • Canal+

Work highlights

  • Assisted POC Sports with identifying and destroying counterfeit products seized by Belgian customs and implementing a successful process of customs enforcement of trade marks and intellectual property rights.
  • Representing Nous Concept in the defence of its trade marks in the context of litigation and subsequent trade mark fillings.
  • Assisting Jessy Séminor, a French start-up specialising in interior design, with various aspects pertaining to the development of its activities and the protection of its intangible assets and goodwill.

Source: Legal 500 – EMEA

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K&L Gates LLP handles contentious and advisory matters for clients in a range of sectors, focusing particularly on telecoms and e-commerce. Claude-Etienne Armingaud led a team which defended Priska Pasquer, a German gallery which is internationally renowned for the distribution of photographic work, in an alleged fine art photograph infringement case.

Source: Legal 500 – EMEA

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Practice head(s):Claude-Etienne Armingaud

Testimonials

‘The team is well versed and up to date on the current standards and practices. Team members are all very flexible in their availability and very responsive’.           

‘The team provides sharp advices and has great sector industry knowledge’.

‘The team has in-depth expertise and great ability to anticipate future legislation’

‘Claude Etienne Armingaud is more than a lawyer; he is a trusted partner who knows his own limits and is very friendly’.

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K&L Gates ranked “Highly Recommended” with Claude-Etienne Armingaud.

Source: Leaders League

K&L Gates ranked with Claude-Etienne Armingaud.

Source: Leaders League

K&L Gates ranked “Recommended – Band 2” with Claude-Etienne Armingaud.

Source: Leaders League

Les 12 et 13 février 2020, l’IAPP organise sa conférence “Data Protection Intensive: France” — retrouvez nous lors du panel “Global Developments: CCPA and Beyond” avec Delphine Charlot de Mastercard et les meilleurs moments ci-dessous:

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